NEW DELHI: Union minister of state for environment and forests
has approached conservationists and NGOs to share a list of cruel practices in India that are still adopted by farmers to protect crops from
. The move comes days after a pregnant
was killed in Kerala after she bit into an explosive-laden fruit meant to ward off wild boars.
"The Kerala incident is gruesome. In fact, there are reports that such practices are common in the state and elsewhere. We have asked experts to share with us all such methods they are aware of so we can sensitise farmers. We have to strike a balance between crop protection and
conservation,” the minister told TOI.
Supriyo also said that use of crude bombs that end up killing animals calls for a deeper investigation. “We need to probe how people are accessing low explosives and where they are being manufactured,” he said.
Meanwhile, the MP from Asansol added that the Centre has written to states to ensure dry leaves are removed from forests to mitigate risk of fires. “During the lockdown air is cleaner as levels of PM 2.5, PM 10 and
(NO2) have fallen drastically and states have been directed to ensure no stubble burning takes place which could lead to an increase in pollution,” he said.
Asked about the rise in poaching incidents during lockdown, Supriyo said, “Poaching was more frequent until a few years ago but we have cracked down on it. The tiger population is already at over 2,900, recording a rapid growth.” The tiger population rose from 2,226 in 2014 to 2,967 in 2018.